Regional Development



About the OECD Principles on Rural Policy

The Principles for Rural Policy crystallise over 20 years of the OECD’s work on rural development and were developed through a comprehensive review process with OECD member countries and key stakeholders. They were adopted by the Regional Development Policy Committee 1 March 2019. They are targeted to: i) National ministries dealing with rural areas, rural policies, and sustainable development, notably ministries responsible for regional development, in OECD Members and Partners; subnational levels of government and stakeholders involved in or affected by rural policy (e.g. from civil society, the private sector, academia or financial institutions).

 To download the rural principles click here

logo wheel of rural policy

The OECD Principles on Rural Policy seek to:


  • Help Member countries deliver better policies for better lives;
  • Support the commitments of governments to achieving global agendas through future-proof regional development policies, in particular:
  • The Sustainable Development Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015;
  • The Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015;
  • The UN-Habitat Guiding Principles and Framework for Action on Urban-Rural Linkages to Advance Integrated Territorial Development;
  • Provide guidance on how an integrated and functional approach to the urban-rural continuum can contribute to the economic, environmental and social sustainability of rural areas and to the well-being of their citizens.


To download the full rural principles document click here

Download the brochure on Rural Principles English | French

The three S's


Targeting policy actions for all types
of rural areas

  • Principle 1. Maximise the potential of all rural areas
  • Principle 2. Organise policies and governance at the relevant geographic scale by:
  • Principle 3. Support interdependencies and co-operation between urban and rural areas


Adopting integrated and effective strategies
to build smart, sustainable and inclusive
rural areas fit for the future

  • Principle 4. Set a forward looking vision for rural policies
  • Principle 5. Leverage the potential of rural areas to benefit from globalisation, trade and digitalisation 
  • Principle 6. Supporting entrepreneurship to foster job creation in rural areas
  • Principle 7. Align strategies to deliver public services with rural policies
  • Principle 8. Strengthen the social, economics, ecological and cultural resilience of rural communities


Engaging stakeholders in policies for
rural areas


  • Principle 9. Implement a whole-of-government approach to policies for rural areas
  • Principle 10. Promote inclusive engagement in the design and implementation of rural policy
  • Principle 11. Foster monitoring, independent evaluation and accountability of policy outcomes in rural areas

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